The feast that we celebrate today is not easy to understand.

The fact that Jesus left His Apostles alone

requires an explanation. The life of the Apostles was

anchored to Jesus; they lost Him once in his death,

and now they lose Him a second time.

When the Apostles began following the Lord, they

believed that he would be with them for a long

time; all things were connected to Him. How could

Jesus leave them, and where was He going?

Abandonment is closely connected with the process

of adults’ maturation in their spiritual lives. Sometimes,

it is necessary that after a time of preparation

our teachers or our parents will leave us alone to test

their teachings as we walk along the path we

choose. But the truth is that we are not alone, we

carry with us everywhere we go the knowledge and

the teachings of our own experiences of Christ.

Our parents, our teachers and the Lord Jesus return

to us at specific moments of our lives to check on us,

to see how we have matured, to encourage, and to

see how we live as they taught us.

Jesus does the same with His Apostles. In His absence,

He gives them opportunities to grow personally

and spiritually. He will not leave them alone, beside

His spiritual presence. He sends the Holy Spirit to

continue and complete the work He himself had

began in them. The Holy Spirit will remind them of

everything that Jesus taught them, and will give to

them a better and more profound understanding of

the message of Christ.

The absence of Jesus is an opportunity for us to continue

to do His work because as we read in the New

Testament, the work of redemption is achieved by

Jesus’ disciples as they continue the work of God.

Where is He going, to where does Jesus ascend?

Heaven is His place because He comes from

heaven and is returning there. Jesus not only shows

us the place where we can one day live, but He

also leads the way. He fulfills His promises: I am going

to prepare a place for you, so where I am you also

may be.

In the Ascension, Jesus accomplished two things

that we cannot do on our own: He left

(empowering the Apostles) and He remained (with

them by means of His spiritual and sacramental

presence). He never abandoned those whom He

loved: I will be with you always to the end of the

ages.

We are never alone. Jesus is with us, even when He

seems to leave, even when we cannot see his presence.

In that way, He entrusted His mission, and His

message of salvation.

-Fr. Sergio